Friday, 22 April 2016


About a month ago I posted a copy of a German short film on basic life support. One guaranteed to keep it's audience riveted. I've been wondering. Can I claim studying this film as part of my CPD, or personal development or whatever bullshit term is in vogue these days?

Monday, 18 April 2016


A fascinating development in the dispute between the junior doctors and Jeremy Hunt is that it now appears that he does not actually have the authority to impose his hated new contract. Could this be true. Could it be that he is so ignorant about the limits of his own authority that he could have made such a mistake. Or, worse, maybe he knew full well and was cynically and beligerently bluffing. 

Either way he has form. He exceeded his authority once before, in the fiasco over Lewisham accident and emergency services. The high court at that time slapped him down without mercy. The likelihood is that he's about to get another kicking.

How has someone so manifestly, utterly unsuited to his position managed to cling on so long?

Friday, 15 April 2016


I see that the chair of the GMC, and the NHS Medical Director are both urging the junior doctors to call off their planned strike. I don't think we should take them too seriously. These two individuals have long ago sold themselves to government and it was inevitable that Hunt would wheel out these two puppets to say what they've been told they're expected to say. They're nothing more than mouthpieces.

Also inevitable is that Hunt and his puppets would hide behind the patients, warning of the consequences to them of withdrawing emergency care.

Let's be clear about this. There will be no consequences. The Consultants are solidly behind the juniors in this. The Consultants will cover the emergencies. Obviously they will. The patients requiring emergency cover will not suffer in any way.

So, Bruce Keogh, and Terence Stephenson. You've nailed your colours to the mast. Now fuck off, your strings are showing.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Thumb sucking

DZ recently rediscovered something that took him back over 50 years.

I remember quite clearly at the age of about 12 or so browsing in the children's section of our local library. In the section for young children I found a book that contained "The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb". I remember even at that age being utterly appalled to find this, thinking at the time it was pretty much guaranteed to induce nightmares and anxiety in any child who sucked their thumb. Reading it again today I still think it's quite horrible. A story telling kids that, if they suck their thumb some lanky maniac will burst in with a pair of shears and cut off their thumbs, with the acquiescence of their mother! This is the original illustration from the book, first published in 1845

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands;-
"Ah!" said Mamma "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

What a sweet tale to read to your little one at bedtime. I wonder what sort of deranged lunatic could write such a thing. Well I looked up the author, one Heinrich Hoffman. Believe it or not he was a psychiatrist!

I suppose we should be grateful he didn't explore what might happen to boys who've discovered wanking.